Father 'killed toddler left in hot car'
- 4 July 2014
- From the section US & Canada
A man accused of killing his toddler son by leaving him inside a hot car will stand trial, a judge has ruled.
A detective told a Georgia hearing the evidence suggested Justin Ross Harris killed his son Cooper intentionally and the tragedy was not due to negligence.
Cobb County Detective Phil Stoddard said Mr Harris had looked at websites advocating against having children
The judge refused bail, meaning Mr Harris, who says he forgot his son was in the car, will remain in jail.
Mr Harris was supposed to drive his 22-month-old son to nursery on the morning of 18 June but he told police that instead he drove to work without realising his son was strapped into a car seat in the back.
The temperature that day was 88 degrees at 5:16 pm, and the child died of hyperthermia as his body overheated.
Search warrants released over the weekend suggested Mr Harris had done an online search on what temperature could cause a child's death in a vehicle.
And they said he returned to put something inside his car during the day while the child was still inside.
Mr Stoddard told the court Mr Harris was exchanging nude photos with several women, including teenagers, while he was at work on the day his son died.
Defence lawyer Maddox Kilgore said that was irrelevant to the case but the police officer said it showed Mr Harris led a double life and should remain in jail because he was a flight risk.
He added that in the weeks before the boy's death, the father had looked at a website in support of not having children and had searched "how to survive in prison".
Harris and his wife had two life insurance policies for their son, for $2,000 (£1,170) and $25,000 (£15,000).
Mr Harris told police he was a doting father who always kissed his son when he strapped him into the car seat.
A defence witness said Harris appeared to be distraught when he realised his son had died, and was trying to resuscitate him.
Alex Hall, a friend of Harris since college and a colleague at Home Depot, said Mr Harris talked about how much he loved his son all the time, and there was "nothing weird" about him when they had lunch that day.